Read this, you will thank me

book cover finalIf you were on a long demanding trek across the Andes then it’s possible you haven’t heard about Annabelle Gurwitch’s book, I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT. I am privileged to call attention to it. Still, I am well behind the       first wave, for it was launched in May. I can only hope this might reach some of you who have just returned from the Andes, thereby giving rise to yet another wave.

This is an often hilarious and always self-deprecating look at women shakily hovering around fifty. I worked with Annabelle as a reader/editor and cautioned her from the start that I had little sympathy for fifty being well on   the north side of that number. So, often I found myself stifling a snort while managing to keep an objective eye.  To her credit, she was patient with me and together we were a good team, committed to finding what worked best and why.

I often do overview edits on projects, tracking structure, developing character and keeping the story in motion.  I am careful to not re-write, but instead uncover what is on the page and what is not. It is my job to shine a light on what’s in front of me with clarity and focus, not to change it. Why rob the author of the priceless “Aha!” when they see what’s needed and dig back in to make it happen? So, know that a great deal of care and effort has gone into this book and yes, it may look effortless…don’t be fooled, it never, ever is.  But it’s the caring artist’s job to make it seem that way.

A side note: I just returned from a week long writer’s conference at Squaw Valley Community of Writers up north near Tahoe. I cannot say enough good things about this week. The critiquing shakes up your material and energizes you with possibilities previously unseen. I also worked with writer Steve Almond (CANDYFREAK) whose work I didn’t know and now will eat with both hands.  His notes turned me completely around with grace and insight. Whew.

I say, go online and order his very small book THIS WON’T TAKE BUT A MINUTE HONEY essays on this and that and most stunningly, on writing.